One thing we don’t always think of when trying to heal from an injury is the importance of sleep. One of the main reasons why sleep helps to promote healing is because growth hormone production happens when we sleep. These growth hormones help with cell production, cell and tissue regeneration and regulation of your metabolism. While sleeping, your body has lowered energy consumption which means more energy is used to restore bones and muscles through increased growth hormones and by an increase in blood flow to the area in need.
Research shows that while we sleep “40% of the usual blood flow to the brain is sent to the muscles to help restore energy. The hormone prolactin is also released during sleep. Prolactin has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help the recovery of achy joints.”
Another fabulous benefit of sleep is that your body makes more white blood cells during this time. Those white blood cells can attack bacteria and viruses that may interfere with the healing process. Sleep is crucial to keeping your immune system strong!
Not only are you fighting off viruses and bacteria while you sleep but you’re also allowing your body to get a much-needed break! Sleeping reduces the demands on your heart by dropping your blood pressure and allowing your breathing and muscles to relax. This process helps to reduce inflammation and promote healing of injuries.
If you’ve ever had to heal from an injury, you know that it takes dedication and work! Energy and determination are required to get to your physiotherapy appointments and to commit to your home exercise program. A good night’s sleep will help provide you with the energy boost needed to help you work on healing your injury. When you sleep, there is little demand for calories so it gives your body the chance to restore, replenish and be ready to face the challenges of another day!
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